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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani flees the country as Taliban forces enter the capital

Afghan President Ashraf Gani fled the country on Sunday amid a mounting crisis due to the Taliban’s military gains over the past several weeks. Taliban fighters infiltrated Afghanistan’s Presidential Palace just hours after Mr. Ghani fled the country, with some insurgents sharing photos of the palace’s interior via Telegram. The Taliban have been in talks with Afghanistan’s government over who would take control of the nation following a series of rapid advances across the country. The Taliban has now taken control over dozens of key cities with little to no resistance.

In what seemed like some sort of “handover” ceremony, the Taliban claimed control over the palace. Al Jazeera reported that there were three Afghan government officials present at the time. One Taliban security official claimed that there was a peaceful handover of Afghan government facilities across the country. Another spoke to claim he had been held captive by the US in Guantanamo. This claim has not been verified. A Taliban spokesman stated that the Taliban plans to enter areas of the city where government officials have abandoned their posts to take control. Thousands of Afghans have attempted to flee the country since the event and in the weeks prior during significant Taliban takeovers, resulting in several deaths at the Kabul airport.

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